Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Theme Thursday: Over the Hill

Silence creeps through the trees like a fog, swallowing heartbeats pounding out war drums of anticipation. Hues of orange and brown carpet the forest floor, broken by the green and grey trunks and craggy rock outcroppings. The sun closes its eyes and even the wind holds its breath for this moment.

Horns moan bleeding into snarling howls, the earthquake of a thousand feet taking their first step stuns our ears to a dull ringing. It has begun.

Snarling teeth and mottled flesh flash in a blur of movement as the first wave reaches our placement. Whirling from the secure feel of the rough bark to our backs, we slash and parry. Thorn and thicket, yellowed cracked nails rake furrows across tanned leather armor. Reckless they pour into us, only to pile like cord wood around our ankles, the air itself becomes wet and crimson.

Wave after wave breaks upon the shores of our sword reach, driving us deep to to the edge of a gully, loose earth clattering down its embankment. Sliding down the incline we slip into the gaping mouth of a foreboding cave welcoming a moment of respite from the tromping feet beyond its shadow.

Do we fight on?

We have n'er a choice. There is a princess to save.

Alright, lets be on with it.


With a determined breath we turn and face the waiting horde...

*ahem*

Oh sorry Doctor. No, I don't know why I have a hero complex. I was just thinking about Sunday afternoons, two boys with their sticks, somewhere...

Over the Hill.


While some days I lament the passing of those times in the woods behind my uncle's house fighting fanciful creatures, the battles still rage on. Only now its for your family. Romance your wife. Cherish your husband. Play with your kids. The enemy is lurking...

52 comments:

Baino said...

Love the imagination of small children fighting invisible foes. If only ours were less visible these days. Sometimes I hate being a grown up

otin said...

How about laying in the grass aiming a stick at someone and saying bang! Your dead! only to have the person argue that you missed him! Ahhh to be a kid again, if only for one day!

Kris said...

My small children fight each other!

Wings said...

Mine youngest two (girl and boy) like using words for swords. Not good.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

It is sometimes more fun to pretend something is about to get you. Keeps you moving on. -J

subtorp77 said...

Brian, you connected this up so well...happy TT!

blueviolet said...

I think I read once somewhere that at a certain age our imaginations are at their peak and then start to decrease. That made me sad!

only a movie said...

Makes me want to go tromping in the woods. Nice job. :-)

Brian Miller said...

@baino - it does suck at times, and then i go play with my boys and its all better.

@otin - but you did miss, didn't you see? lol. i even got a little bloody for you today.

@kris - mine too.

@wings - ouch.

@jayne - too true. hmm...that gives me an idea..

@subs- ty.

@blue violet - it makes me sad to see imagination lost.

An Open Heart said...

Great fun! I didn't play any battles, we had this amazing tree house that we played HOUSE in...with our babies and the play oven and sink and fridge..... and MUD pies.....those were the days....


S

willow said...

Brings back fond memories of sword fights with curtain rods. I was the feisty Joan of Arc type.

MW said...

This brought back memories of making a fort out of pillows and later having pillow fights...oh to be a kid again. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories. Great story.

Skip Simpson said...

This brings me back to my childhood... which in many ways, people have said. "Ive never left." Fantastic post! Happy "Theme Thursday!"

gaelikaa said...

There's layers an layers of meaning in there. I could analyse that forever!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm reminded of my younger brother and his friends playing in our back yard 40 years ago! Thanks for the trip down memory lane. This was terrific.

Shadow said...

what an imagination... don't ever let that go.

smiles4u said...

I love this! This reminds me of my days of running through cow pastures and woods and along the river banks doing much of the same. Oh how I love the imaginations of childhood and how glad I am that I haven't totally lost mine now that I'm an adult.

Shrinky said...

I love your writing - you managed to place us right there in the moment with you. It occurred to me only last week how easily adults forget to laugh, my children giggle and hoot and roll around in fits of laughter over things I would usually only raise a smile over now. I must remember to let the child out in me now and then, as should we all.

lakeviewer said...

Ah, Walter Mitty on the loose.

Lorraine said...

ah but there no ennemies...only our own self-battles, n'est-ce pas dear writer!

liza said...

Brings back memories of battles with my cousins in our grandmother's backyard..slingshots, lizard races, and monster tag...fun times!

Alan Burnett said...

A fine piece as usual. How do you keep coming up with them? However you do it, keep doing it.

California Girl said...

God you are a romantic! While reading this I was thinking of scenes from "300". Then I arrived at the finish and there you were, 10 yrs old again. I love the imagery of the wind holding its breath.

Protege said...

I think, basically, all men want to be knights and all women princesses:;))
At least once in a while.;)

Betsy said...

Saving the princess...I love it. Do boys play that anymore? So romantic.

Dreamhaven said...

Woderful post. I really enjoyed it.
My grandson loves to use his imagination. So much better than mindless staring at the tv.

VE said...

I'm still over that hill fighting with the sticks...

Kay said...

the imagery you give is just fantastic, do you publish? I smell a novel of sorts that I would love to pull from the shelf, brush off, open the cover and sit comfortable to jump in and be taken away

Colette Amelia said...

For a minute there I thought you had fallen off the path at Horsefly Falls!

you always keep me guessing!

Dakota Bear said...

The use of imaginary play for the day, I wonder if it still exists nowadays. I grew up with unstructured play and my children did as well. Nowadays it appears to be all play dates and computerized games. So are there any knights saving the princess? Doubtful! What a loss.

Great post as always.

Jill said...

There are wonderful adventures to be had amongst those kinds of hills...as far as the imagination can see.

Ande said...

I found your blog while surfing. You write up exciting and fun I think.

Tom said...

i miss those days , too. Happy TT

French Fancy said...

That was great - I'm just about to begin an OU creative writing course but you don't need to learn anything - you've got it in spades

Jasmine said...

I think the hero complex suits you. Such a lovely sentiment, cherish your family :)

Daniel said...

You can never let up. Never. I bear the scars of not learning this lesson in the time I had. Good post today.

Pastor Sharon said...

This brings thoughts of WWII,9/11, and other wars. It brings thoughts of car accidents, natural disasters and other things.

It brings to mind all the reasons to respect and cherish my family time and my time with the Lord.

TechnoBabe said...

Yay for you, keep fantasy alive and well in our families and encourage it in our children and grandchildren.

Sara said...

Ahh, youth!

I rarely had imaginary sword play, but I did build a failed contraption or two--always with the big dreams, the grand plans. Half the fun (at least) was in the possibilities, the realities were incidental.

I did learn valuable lessons, though. For instance, copper tubing and bedsheets are the foundation of a less than aerodynamic hang glider...

Sande said...

For too many, that spirit is culturally manipulated out of them.

Fight on with your most powerful tool .... your words.

C.M. Jackson said...

ah brian--another great ride closing with wise words-great work! c

The Retired One said...

Being a girl, I never played these games. And then, I had two daughters, and they didn't either. Thanks for the glimpse into what it is like! Wonderful imagery!

Megan said...

Oh, good one! Well played, Brian! ;)

Ocean Girl said...

I was a princess captured and waiting to be rescued by Prince Charming. Later on, I was Charlie's Angel waiting for my Six Million Dollar Man.

Not For Jellyfish said...

The wondrous imagination of childhood continues to exist if only we allow it! Great imagination and use of imagery! And yes, the enemy is always near...

Goofball said...

If your boys have inherited just a bit of your imagination, I'm sure life is full of fun for them!

I suspect you'd enjoy life active role playing games?

Madame DeFarge said...

I used to fight everyone and everything. Something of a tomboy and was quite glad to grow out of it in some ways.

lettuce said...

yeah - the day to day takes a lot of heroism

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Hi! Brian,
Brian said,"While some days I lament the passing of those times in the woods behind my uncle's house fighting fanciful creatures, the battles still rage on. Only now its for your family. Romance your wife. Cherish your husband. Play with your kids."

Great transition...of thought
from your childhood and (fighting imaginary battles) to adulthood as you, fight and face real life battles.

"The enemy is lurking..."
Old age? and eventually death?

Take care!
DeeDee

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Imagination is a wonderful thing - I love that I can 'revisit' those moments with Princess Nagger's creative imagination. And this part:

While some days I lament the passing of those times in the woods behind my uncle's house fighting fanciful creatures, the battles still rage on. Only now its for your family. Romance your wife. Cherish your husband. Play with your kids. The enemy is lurking...

So very true. VERY true.

I love the way your mind works - and how you are able to fluently put it to words. You are genius. Truly. :)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I absolutely loved this, Brian. I also wonder how many of us live in our old fantasy days from time to time.

It's also one of the joys of having children - you can play those games again!

The Things We Carried said...

Loved it. And I can relate.